These are sugar gliders. SUPER CUTE, right?! Today was a typical day, then I went and walked around with co-workers after work until the 5pm lecture on these ridiculously adorable creatures. It’s a course offered by VIN, and since there’s a new PI that wants to work with them, the UCLA Dept. of Lab Animal Medicine paid for it so that the AHTs and veterinarians can be somewhat familiar with them. They’re obviously not a popular research model, and they’re illegal as pets in California… so no one at work has any experience with them. The course is four Tuesdays in a row, 5-7pm. It’s an online course, and the way VIN does their classes is really great. Basically it’s like a conference call. There’s a window open that’s a chat room, where the instructors are giving the lesson and the people attending can ask questions that are screened first. Then there’s another window with slides that the instructor advances. It’s pretty cool. So we all piled into the conference room and had the lesson open on a computer and connected to a projector. One of the doctors ordered pizza as well, so we sat around eating pizza and learning all about sugar gliders :) The lesson was geared toward sugar gliders as pets, but a lot of the information is important in lab animal medicine as well – behavior, social structure, husbandry, handling, etc. I won’t be here when they arrive, but since I don’t know anything about them and may encounter them in the future, I thought that it was a good learning opportunity. Except now I want one!! Haha, not really, they’re way too high maintenance, but they sure are CUTE!